Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gordon: Govt to save P4B in automated polls

Sen. Richard Gordon said over the weekend that the automation of elections would give the government a saving of from P3 to P4 billion.

At a briefing, Gordon said, the government will spend only P5 billion to acquire automated machines, while the expenses for holding the election manually will cost from P8 billion to P9 billion.

"These computers can also be used by students for their education. It’s really an investment aside from the fact that it will address cheating," Gordon said.

He is hopeful that Senate Bill 2231 he authored, seeking for the automated electoral system, will be passed before Congress adjourns next month, considering that it is one of the seven bills Malacañan has certified as urgent.

There are about 250,000 polling precincts nationwide, each of them will have at least two computers for the AES which will be used for voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, transmission of election results and other processes in the conduct of electoral exercises.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws, said half of the total number of precincts will be having automated machines for the 2007 election and by 2010, there would be a full computerization of the election.

At the committee hearing Friday Mega Data Corp. and Smarmatic USA made a presentation on how their automated machines would work. The machines will also be presented during plenary discussions on Wednesday.

Gordon said an advisory council to be created under the Senate bill would have the last say in choosing which automated machine will be used for the election The advisory council comprises representatives from the Departments of Education and of Science and Technology, Commission on Elections and the private sector.

"Like in the manual election, teachers will still supervise the automated election," Gordon said. Ronnie E. Calumpita - abs cbn news


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